Off to Ragbrai

Tomorrow I’m flying to Omaha and on Saturday I’m starting the RAGBRAI - 7 days of bicycling across Iowa. I think I have all my gear … I’m a little nervous and a little excited. I think the majority of the heat wave that is currently happening will have passed by Monday anyway so it looks like it will be cooler.


Be sure to wet your rear tire in the Missouri and your front in the Mississippi or it doesn’t count.

Have fun, stay safe and well. Update us when you can.


Amazing! RAGBRAI has been on my bucket list since I was a (non-D) midwestern teen! Pie at every turn! It’s been overwhelming to think about as a diabetic adult (who, to be honest, can also be a bit of a princess about sleeping arrangements). Best of luck to you – would love to see pictures and can’t wait to hear about your experience! Jessica


Awesome! Congrats on the start of your ride! I am looking forward to reading your posts about it.

:biking_man: :exclamation:


I am back from Ragbrai. It was great and we were blessed with exceptionally good weather - temps in the 80s during the day and the low 60s at night. That made this version of Ragbrai (the 49th) one of the best.

there are people who do this tour every year for 20 and more years. For me, though, once is enough, especially as it went so well.

A few diabetes observations …

  1. I forgot to bring along the Dexcom overpatch - and so had to jerry rig something with a Libre overpatch that I found in a small town pharmacy. Everything stayed together but just barely.

  2. My use of insulin was reduced by about 50% - so I changed my infusion site more often than I changed the insulin reservoir. When I bolused, I bolused very lightly - so what would normally be a 6 unit bolus became a 4 unit bolus. Even so, there were a few evenings when I went low and had to eat some more.

  3. There can be a lot of drinking in Ragbrai - there is beer everywhere and every town you go through has a beer garden set up. I didn’t do any of that because I did not know how the alcohol would interact with everything else in this kind of high exercise hot environment. Not quite true - on the last day, towards the end of the ride, the Iowa Corn people (who have a trailer and distributed free corn on the cob every day) also introduced beer made with corn. I had about 8 ounces of that. It was very good.

  4. There were a few other type 1 diabetics on the ride - I wore my “red rider” jersey one day from American Diabetes Association, and a few people came up to me. I recommended this board to them!

Let me know if you have any questions …


Congrats @bostrav59! That’s tremendous!

I would love to hear about fueling. What did you use while riding, what did you eat before the rides, etc. And how many grams of carbs per day?

Also, can you tell me about your basal adjustment? Do you turn basal off completely while riding?


I would love to hear about fueling. What did you use while riding, what did you eat before the rides, etc. And how many grams of carbs per day?

My routine was to have a clif bar in the am during the first 15 or 20 miles and then eat (usually pie) about 20 miles in. So I didn’t eat much in the AM. Actually, I didn’t eat much (aside from pie and corn) during the day. I had the clif bar for times when I might dip, and I would feel that occasionally.

I would usually start on an empty stomach - I personally prefer riding before breakfast and not eating very much during the day. Bananas are always good. And stay away from chocolate milk - at least for me it makes me sluggish. Pie is perfect.

As for basal adjustment, I met another diabetic on day 5 who suggested I do a basal adjustment, and I ended up doing something on day 7, but mostly what I did was set the pump to “exercise” mode and reduce my bolusing.

This was not perfect as I noted above - on two nights, after stopping all exercise and after eating, I still went low before bed - and this could have been due to not adjusting my basal rate.

Does that help? I’m not very technical - much more trial-and-error and intuitive.


Thanks @bostrav59, that’s good stuff to hear about. I am a big fan of Cliff Bars too, they provide a nice steady carb source.

I do this for easy days. But for harder stuff I need to eat before.

I thought that might be the case. :grinning: It’s cool that it can make it more hands-free for people.

I just wish it would somehow be able to give back the data, like saying how much of a reduction was made.


@bostrav59 That picture says it all. Gloriously gorgeous. Still on my bucket list. I am so proud of you and happy for you! Have been thinking of you all week! Jess


Congrats on accomplishing an amazing ride. I grew up in Minnesota, so I heard a lot about this ride. Seems a lot like the one they do in Oregon. Enjoy the post ride halo! Great accomplishment, D or not.


Congratulations, @bostrav59 ! Ive not heard of the before so thank you for sharing! Looks fun but very challenging!!


Thanks everybody for your good wishes. It was a lot of fun and the weather was great.